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Songbirds are welcome guests in the garden, but not every bird is welcome. There are birds of prey that can pose a threat to the songbirds in the garden and cause a lot of damage. These birds include the magpie. The black and white birds are sometimes referred to as thieves because they steal shiny objects that they stash in their nests. However, there are some ways to chase away the magpie plague again.

magpie plague

If the black and white birds have chosen the garden as their home, this is not a joy for every garden owner. Magpies plunder the nests of other birds and like to trash the garden. But how can you take action against the magpie plague? In the following article we provide information on the legal provisions for hunting and catching magpies.

Legal situation

Before taking action against the animals, some legal questions must be clarified, because even if the birds can become a nuisance, it is not permitted to kill them, for example. Like all wild birds, the magpie is also subject to the Conservation Laws. This means that it is forbidden to catch or hunt the animals. In addition, they must not actively drive gardeners away, for example by destroying their nests.

The protection regulations apply from the rearing of the young animals up to and including overwintering. This makes it a challenge to actually get a magpie plague in the garden under control. However, there are exceptions in some federal states, which rarely apply to private individuals, but mostly to hunters. They are then allowed to take active action against the animals, especially if they occur locally in large numbers.

notice: Anyone taking action against the magpies as a private person may risk fines that can amount to several thousand euros.

expel magpies

Even if no active action is taken against a magpie plague, the garden can be indirectly designed in such a way that it is not inviting for the animals. In principle, however, the animals in the garden do not pose a problem as long as they do not become obtrusive, for example towards people or pets. In many cases, with a few specimens, one peaceful coexistence possible. Action should only be taken if there are really incidents with the animals.

Garden owners have these legal options:

  • Create habitats for natural enemies such as hawks, martens and crows
  • Pets like dogs or cats are also enemies
  • Simulate the presence of natural enemies (set up dummies, play sounds)

One possibility is to inform the local hunter about an impending magpie plague. If there is a special permit, hunters can then take action against the animals.

Prevent magpie plague

Prevention should be taken so that the animals do not have to be driven out of the garden in the first place. So the magpies don't even head for the garden. Gardens are not per se preferred habitats for raptors, but their diminishing sanctuaries often force them to encroach into areas where they are not particularly welcome, such as gardens.

notice: Especially in areas with intensive agriculture, where there are hardly any hedges as retreats, the birds appear in larger groups and look for living quarters close to people.

However, so that the garden does not appear inviting for you, the following measures should be taken:

  • Do not leave food leftovers lying around in the garden
  • Always cover leftovers on the compost
  • Close rubbish bins and bins tightly and weigh down lids if necessary
  • Protect beds with nets if necessary
  • Cover fresh seeds well
  • Protect bird feeders
  • Immediately remove leftover food from other animals

protect small birds

The preferred food source for magpies includes songbirds and their brood. They catch and hunt the animals and especially rooms that are very open are very suitable for the larger birds of prey. Small birds can therefore be actively protected by offering them safe spaces. Dense hedges, for example, are ideal for this, in which it is difficult for a magpie to move, but the small songbirds are much more agile.

Hedges with thorns in particular offer good opportunities for the small songbirds to hide from the magpies. Although it is not allowed to chase or drive away the magpie, you can actively protect other birds in the garden. Nesting boxes for small birds are also an important building block to protect them from a plague. When designing the nesting boxes, it is important that they are not only hung up in protected places, but also that they only have small entry holes. This prevents a larger bird of prey such as the magpie from getting to the clutch of the songbirds.

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